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AMU revokes suspension of two Kashmiri students

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Guv urges HRD minister to ensure studies of Kashmiri students are not disrupted

Srinagar, Oct 16: Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Tuesday revoked the suspension of two Kashmiri students after a fact-finding committee found no evidence of their involvement in raising ‘Azadi’ slogans on the campus, said a media report.

However, the sedition cases registered against them by the UP Police have not been withdrawn yet, reported ‘The Times of India’.

The suspension of Waseem Ayoub Malik (Phd, Biochemistry) and Abdul Haseeb Mir (Phd, History) has been revoked, as committee did not find any evidence against them, the report quoted the Registrar of the university, Abdul Hamid as having said.

The CCTV footage of the lawn where the students had gathered is not available, he said.

He said that cameras’ directions are towards the entry of Kennedy hall, which can not cover the lawn area.

SSP Aligarh, Ajay Kumar Sahini said that SIT will verify the evidences and witnesses before concluding the investigation, said the report.

He said that he has not received the probe report of AMU and once it comes then it will be forwarded to SIT.

The police had booked both the students for sedition for allegedly trying to hold funeral prayers in absentia for slain Hizb commander Manan Wani.

Earlier in a day, the Alumni meet at Aligarh Muslim University witnessed a silent protest by Kashmiri students, including girls, against the sedition charges, suspension and show cause notices issued to students.

Pertinently, earlier in the day, Governor Satya Pal Malik asked Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar to ensure that studies of Kashmiri students at the AMU are not disrupted.

The Governor spoke to the HRD minister and AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor in this regard, an official spokesman said.

Malik urged them to ensure that the issue is resolved at the earliest and there is no disruption of studies of the Kashmiri students and they are allowed to continue their studies in a safe and secure academic environment, the spokesman added.

The Governor's move comes in the wake AMU authorities suspending two Kashmir students for reportedly offering funeral prayers in absentia for slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Manan Bashir Wani.

Wani was a PhD scholar at AMU till January, before he joined the militant ranks. He was killed in an encounter with government forces on October 11.

Kashmiri students at JNU extend support to AMU colleagues

Vilification of Kashmiri students very disturbing: JNUSU gen secy

Srinagar, Oct 16: The Kashmiri students studying at Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday extended their support and solidarity to their counterparts at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

A statement issued by Kashmiri students studying at JNU said they stand with their AMU counterparts "who have been made victims of the unfair and biased media trial and arbitrary action by the AMU administration."

“Despite the Kashmiri students having exercised maximum restraint in the situation that had befallen them, the disciplinary and legal action against the Kashmiri students in AMU is arbitrary and uncalled for. We commend the brave response of the Kashmiri student community of AMU who have stood strong, in unity, against discriminatory attitude of the AMU authorities who instead of standing by its students have chosen to victimize their students,” the statement said.

The statement said “criminalization of a gathering of students of a certain identity” is nothing but an act of “deliberate targeting and maltreating of that community of students” to isolate them and make them more vulnerable in the hostile environment of the university.

“The pressing of colonial-era sedition charges and orders of suspension against the Kashmiri students in AMU for merely meeting and discussing a situation arising back home speaks volumes of how academic lives of Kashmiris pursuing studies in Indian universities come under continued and unwarranted harassment and persecution,” the statement said.

The student community demanded an immediate revocation of the suspension order and the withdrawal of the sedition charges against the Kashmiri students of AMU.

“The administration should also take responsibility of creating amicable conditions for the Kashmiri students in AMU in order to prevent their growing isolation and ensure their safety in the prevailing hostile environment,” it said.

The general secretary of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) on Tuesday said that it was "unfortunate and highly deplorable that universities are now being turned into war zones."

A statement issued by JNUSU general secretary, Aejaz Ahmad Rather said the kind of "vilification not only of Kashmiri students but of AMU by mainstream media is very disturbing."

“In a democratic, secular, liberal republic; freedom of expression is being muzzled en masse,” he said in his statement.

He said it was concern for all the individuals who believe in the democratic institutions.

“University is a space where freedom of thought and ideas has to be cultivated. Instead of that, we are seeing an atmosphere of fear and hatred is being created across the country,” he said.

He said the students studying in campuses across do not need military or draconian interventions. “There is a need of dialogue to address the issues, and not ruining careers of students by sending them to prisons under sedition laws. This will grow more hatred and violence,” he said.

Demanding to drop the sedition charges on three Kashmir students at AMU, he urged the government of J&K, Central government, civil society, and media have to handle this situation with sensitivity, and not an iron hand. “Every concern has a value whether it is related to their safety of family back home or their safety on the campus,” he added.

J&K’s AMU alumni warn protests if charges against students not dropped

Srinagar, Oct 16: Kashmir Aligs, the association of AMU Alumni hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, on Tuesday warned of statewide protests if sedition case against Kashmiri students were not dropped.

In a statement, Kashmir Aligs demanded withdrawal of sedition and other charges levelled against these students by the UP Police.

Further “the association demands immediate withdrawal of suspension order of some students,” read the statement.

They said AMU Aligarh has been Alma Mater to a large number of people from the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the past also and presently there are about 1500 students enrolled in the various courses at the university.

The association stated that if these demands are not fulfilled by the UP and the Central government, then the Kashmir Aligs group would call for statewide protests in solidarity with the Kashmiri students at AMU, Aligarh.

“As of now the Kashmir Aligs would hold a peaceful sit-in protest at Pratap Park, Srinagar on October 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm,” read the statement.

UP minister favours restrictions on those indulging in ‘anti-national’ activities

Lucknow, Oct 16 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh minister Siddharth Nath Singh said Tuesday restrictions should be placed on those indulging in anti-national activities, days after three Kashmiri students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) were booked for allegedly trying to hold a prayer meeting for a slain militant.

"The government is with the innocent people. But restrictions should be placed on those who are indulging in activities which are against the nation's interest," Singh told reporters here.

The BJP has always stood by the nation's interests, he added.

"Universities must take action against those indulging in activities which are detrimental to the nation's interest. Those who are innocent should be allowed to stay. We are making efforts in this direction," Singh said.

On October 13, the AMU students were booked for allegedly raising "anti-India" slogans and and trying to hold a prayer meeting for Hizbul Mujahideen commander Manan Bashir Wani, who was killed in an encounter in north Kashmir.

Wani (27), who was pursuing a PhD course in Applied Geology at the AMU, had quit the university and joined militant ranks in January this year.

"Police have filed an FIR against Wasim Malik, Abdul Mir and one unnamed person. They have been identified on the basis of a video recording," Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police Ajai Sahni had said.

The three were suspended from the AMU earlier.

In the wake of their suspension, more than 1,200 students from Jammu and Kashmir studying at the varsity have threatened to leave for their homes on October 17, if the sedition charges against the three are not dropped.

In a letter to Proctor, AMU, students of Jammu and Kashmir, studying at the university said "no prayers or any relevant activity was observed and the directions of the AMU Proctor were duly followed".

AMU registrar Abdul Hamid has said there would be no witch-hunt against any student.

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